Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Anna Hamrick

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis project was to explore levels of compassion fatigue in emergency department nurses. Compassion fatigue has directly affected many nurses’ lives as well as impacting the field of nursing in various ways. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring served as the theoretical framework for the study. The literature maintains that the prevalence of compassion fatigue has been established, yet severity varies among institutions and specialties. A quantitative study to determine the level of compassion fatigue in ED nurses was conducted by utilizing a group on the social media site Facebook that is specific to travel nurses throughout the U.S. Descriptive statistics from the study reveal an “average” range of burnout and secondary traumatic stress, determining that compassion fatigue is prevalent among the study sample. This study serves to add to the literature the impact that compassion fatigue may have on nurses.

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